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experiments to determine the configuration of the earth,
The Griper sailed from the Nore, on the 11th of May,
On the 24th of July, they again put to sea, directing
On the 16th of August, Clavering landed with a
here. They reached in their journey a magnificent inlet, about fifty miles in circumference, which was supposed to be the same which Gale Hamkes discovered in 1654, and which bears his name. The mountains round its sides were 4000 to 5000 feet high. On the 29th of August, they returned on board, and having embarked the tents and instruments, the ship again set sail on the 31st, keeping the coast in view to Cape Parry, lat. 723°. The cliffs were observed to be several thousand feet high. On the 13th of September, as the ice in shore began to get very troublesome, the ship stood out to sea, and after encountering a very heavy gale, which drove them with great fury to the southward, and it not being thought prudent to make for Ireland, a station in about the same latitude
on the Norway coast was chosen instead by Capt. Sabine. They made the land about the latitude of Christiansound. On the 1st of October, the Griper struck hard on a sunken rock, but got off undamaged.
On the 6th, they anchored in Drontheim Fiord, where they were received with much kindness and hospitality, and after the necessary observations had been completed the ship proceeded homeward, and reached Deptford on the 19th of December, 1823.
LYON'S VOYAGE IN THE GRIPER.
Assistant-Surveyor - E. N. Kendal.
Total complement, 41.
, called the Snap, was ordered to accompany her
The Griper made but slow progress in her deeply laden state, her crowded decks being continually swept by heavy seas, and it was not until the end of August, that she rounded the southern head of Southampton Island, and stood up toward Sir Thomas Roe's Wel come. On reaching the entrance of this channel they encountered a terrific gale, which for a long time threatened the destruction of both ship and crew. Drifting with this, they brought up the ship with four anchors, in a bay with five fathoms and a half water, in the momentary expectation that with the ebb tide the ship would take the ground, as the sea broke fearfully on a low sandy beach just astern, and had the anchors parted, nothing could have saved the vessel. Neither commander nor crew had been in bed for three nights
, and although little hope was entertained of surviving the gale, and no boat could live in such a sea, the officers and crew performed their several duties with their accustomed coolness. Each man was ordered to put on his warmest clothing, and to take charge of some useful instrument. The scene is best described in the words of the gallant commander
" Each, therefore, brought his bag on deck, and dressed himself; and in the fine athletic forms which stood exposed before me, I did not see one muscle qui
ver, nor the slightest sign of alarm. Prayers were read, and they then all sat down in groups, sheltered from the wash of the sea by whatever they could find, and some endeavored to obtain a little sleep. Never, perhaps was witnessed a finer scene than on the deck of my little ship, when all hope of life had left us. Noble as the character of the British sailor is always allowed to be in cases of danger, yet I did not believe it to be possible that among forty-one persons not one repining word should have been uttered. Each was at peace with his neighbor and all the world ; and I am firmly persuaded that the resignation which was then shown to the will of the Almighty, was the means of obtaining His mercy. God was merciful to us, and the tide, almost miraculously, fell no lower." The appropriate name of the Bay of God's Mercy has been given to this spot on the charts by Captain Lyon.
Proceeding onward up the Welcome, they encountered, about a fortnight later, another fearful storm. On the 12th of September, when off the entrance of Wager Inlet, it blew so hard for two days, that on the 13th the ship was driven from her anchors, and carried away by the fury of the gale, with every prospect of being momentarily dashed to pieces against any hidden rock; but the same good Providence which had 60 recently befriended them, again stood their protector. On consulting with his officers, it was unani. mously resolved, that in the crippled state of the ship, without any anchor, and with her compasses worse than useless, it would be madness to continue the voyage, and the ship’s course was therefore shaped for England.
I may observe, that the old Griper is now laid up as a hulk in Chichester Harbor, furnishing a residence and depot for the coast guard station.
In the spring of 1824 the Admiralty determined to give Capt. Parry another opportunity of carrying ort
the great problem which had so long been songht after, of a northwest passage to the Pacific, and so generally esteemed was this gallant commander that he had but to hoist his pennant, when fearless of all danger, and in a noble spirit of emulation, his former associates rallied around him.
The same two ships were employed as before, but Parry now selected the Hecla for his pennant. The staff of officers and men was as follows :
Captain - W. E. Parry.
Richards, and H. N. Head.
Total complement, 62.
Total complement, 60.